Contributors to this thread:
Snow Cornice Goats
Just back from my Colorado Mountain Goat hunt and I’ll share some pictures and comments.
I felt fortunate to draw a Goat permit back in May. But part of the "luck" came from the tag being one of the lowest-demand goat hunts in the state. The Sheep & Goat brochure warns that the unit is "Managed For Low Population Objective". That means the biologists and policy-makers in the CDPW want very few Goats living there. Apparently this is intended to make room for more Bighorn Sheep. So they’ve pressured the Goat population with a liberal tag allocation for the last 7 years. The result being a relatively low hunter success rate, with most of the Goats taken now comprised of young billies and Nannies. Due to the depressed population numbers, the CDPW forecasted just a 50% success rate on this Goat hunt by riflemen. Of course as with all rifle Goat tags in Colorado, hunters are free to use a bow if desired. And that was certainly my desire ;-) Even if the historical kill numbers don’t really favor a bowhunter. Of the 53 Goats reported taken in the entire history of this hunt, 52 were rifle kills.
When considering the application options back in the spring, it occurred to me once again that life is short, and continuing to apply for one of the high-demand Goat hunts could mean never drawing a tag....maybe not even in 10-20 more years of applying. But I wanted to hunt Mountain Goats with my bow, via DIY, and soon. This unit had some Goats....I still have the legs for it....and this tag could make it happen. So what the heck....give me a gigantic unit with a tiny population of Goats, a 34-day season, and we’ll just see what happens !
Although I wasn’t able to do a single day of on-the-ground scouting prior to the season, what I was able to accomplish was to get all my self-employed work caught up so I could plan to spend almost the entire season on the mountain if needed.
During the summer, I spoke with the terrestrial biologist for that area, and to a few of the past hunters, some of whom were very helpful. A special thanks to bowsite member SDBugler for providing great information about his own hunt in this unit a few years back.
After plotting the kill site data from the CDPW site, and talking with other past hunters, I'd lined up 7 or 8 specific areas to hunt, and had the access points worked out. I loaded the truck and left Indiana on Tuesday. I arrived in Leadville on Wednesday and stayed at a local motel overnight in the 10,200 ft altitude, to at least start getting acclimated to the thin air.
The first morning of hunting on Thursday, I drove to the Independence Pass area. I motored around the area and did some road glassing from a few spots with no results. By mid day I arrived at the parking lot for the North Lake Creek trail head. From there I'd to hike north 3 or 4 miles and set up camp near the continental divide.
This particular area is quite a distance from it’s namesake Mt Massive, but in the designated wilderness zone.
Due to frequent hikers passing up this trail, the marmots were friendlier than normal.
I found a campsite high above and well away from the main trail, in this alpine bowl.
A big overhanging rock enhanced my shelter a little.
I did some glassing for the rest of that first afternoon but found no Goats. At dusk I crawled into the tent, as a light rain started. The rain intensified and continued all night, eventually turning to snow before dawn. The next morning revealed a dusting of snow on the surrounding mountains.
The sun burned the snow off quickly on Friday. I climbed a peak overlooking the mouth of the Fryingpan River and picked my way down the ridge line to glass.
The Fryingpan Lakes are seen here in the distance.
Awesome photos, keep them coming
A few signs of Goat traffic were visible on top of the ridge.
Finally near the end of the day while descending back towards camp, I spotted these 4 Goats in the rocks high above Fryingpan Lakes.
This group turned out to be composed of two Nannies, one Kid, and a yearling Billy.
Not far away from that group were 4 more Goats, bedded. Three Nannies and a yearling Billy.
Since I wasn't interested in shooting a Nanny or a 1-1/2 yr-old Billy, these 8 Goats were all safe.
On the way back to camp, I came across a flock of Ptarmigan. This little hen was watching over her group of half grown chicks.
One more fowl picture taken nearby the next day.
Having found only the two nursery groups of Goats in the Fryingpan Lakes area, on the next morning (Saturday) I hiked north and east from camp to glass the areas overlooking the North Halfmoon Lakes drainage. The distant peak in the middle of this shot is Mount Massive.
There was some possible old Goat sign here, but no indication of recent Goat activity was found.
Being a weekend, lots of hikers were visible. These were climbing Mt Oklahoma.
The rain set in again. Here I found a rock overhang under which to wait out the storm.
Once the rain cleared out, the hike back down to camp provided a nice view of this un-named lake located in a saddle on the continental divide. This lake feeds both the Fryingpan River drainage going north, and Lake Creek to the south. Its also loaded with trout though I never had time to fish them.
loving this story,,,,,my goat hunt in 2013 was over run by work requirements (yes I said that) and wonder if I'll ever do one,,,,living vicariously through guys like you for now!
With the lack of mature Billy sightings, by Saturday night I was considering to possibly pack out the next morning and relocate. But at dusk, right after finishing my Mountain House meal, I took the binos out one last time to glass the opposite mountain side to the west. There I spotted what appeared to be a large solo goat bedded just below the peak about a mile away. Not enough light at dusk to get a picture. I hit the sleeping bag that night with a little more optimism, with plans to be up early and possibly get a stalk on this billy.
A bright full moon lit up the sheer walls of the Big Agnes tent all night. With all that light overnight, the first thing Sunday morning the Goat was gone from his bedding spot. I couldn’t spot him anywhere on the mountainside from my campsite. I got together my day pack and headed out across the bowl to glass. A short time later I found the Goat feeding in a chute not far away. Unfortunately the Goat turned out to be a Nanny with a kid. She still had lots of scruffy summer coat in the latter stages of shedding off.
That settled my plans...I’d go ahead and break camp and hike back to the trail head to relocate into another area. On the way down I noticed these mushroom pickers in the valley below.
On arriving back at the trail head that afternoon, a small band of Bighorn ewes was crossing the mountainside above.
I drove back toward Leadville while doing a little roadside glassing along the way. I returned to the motel that night to get cleaned up and make new plans. Early the next morning just before heading out the cell phone rang. It was the local sheep hunter I’d been in contact with, and he’d spotted a good Billy while glassing for rams on Saturday. He gave me all the particulars on the location, for which I thanked him and then headed out the door with renewed optimism.
With a hot tip on a Billy, there was no sense in going anywhere else. The access would be the same trail head as before, but heading off in another direction which required bushwhacking to the east to eventually get above treeline. Off to the north side of this area was the Champion Mine. Evidence of old mining activity was strewn everywhere.
Lots of water flowing down after all the rains.
I reached a saddle near to where the Billy had been spotted. A small band of Four ewes were very skittish of my presence.
I glassed and moved around for several hours, then climbed all the way up into the cliffs where the Billy was last seen, but no luck.
Then the rains started coming down again.
Although with no success finding the Billy that day, I was not ready to give up yet. The next day Tuesday, I drove in from the opposite side of the mountain range, in order to access some adjacent drainages to the east and glass the peaks. And the rain was back again.
Once the rain and fog let up, I hiked up the mountain to glass. While sitting in a rock pile, this tiny Ermine appeared and took a strong interest in me and my equipment. I tried to feed him an almond, and then a small piece of jerky. He sniffed at them but wouldn’t take either and instead returned to checking out my gear.
Waves of rainstorms returned, so I headed back to the truck where I spent the night. The rain changed to snow overnight, and accumulated about 4 inches.
This shot below is taken the next day. I hiked across the snow field and climbed the next ridge to the south to do more glassing to see if the Billy could be located, but no luck.
After searching for the Billy for 3 days without luck, I finally had to give it up. He may have been merely passing through when my friends spotted him in those cliffs.
I’d now gone 4 straight days without seeing a Goat. It was time to change things up and find a fresh area. So I made plans to head for the Marten Creek drainage off to the northwest. That night I drove to Eagle where I stayed overnight. The next morning Thursday I got in the truck and headed toward the trail head that would access Marten Creek from the north.
At the trail head I met 2 other bowhunters. Luke from California who had an OTC archery elk tag, and a Muzz deer tag that would open on the upcoming Saturday. He said he’d found a good buck, and was chomping at the bit for the weekend to come. The other hunter was a local kid Adam, from Basalt. He was hunting Elk with his bow and was heading in the same direction as me. We hiked in together about 3 miles where I decided to camp, then he headed off to follow the mountainside back down to look for elk. Just prior to taking the picture below, we'd stumbled upon a Sow black bear with three cubs at 30 yards. Luckily they spooked off at once. Cool to see for sure, but it happened too fast to get pics. Here’s bowhunter Adam.
I spent the first evening setting up camp and then glassing the high ridgeline running between Marten Creek and the Fryingpan Lakes area. No Goats were spotted the first evening.
Campsite was a little sloped but was the best spot to be had.
The next morning (Friday) I headed up hill to the west to get a vantage point for glassing.
While glassing from the ridgeline with my scope on high power, I noticed that a Snow Cornice about 3 miles to the west was showing some odd yellowish specks on top. Rocks? No.....it was three adult Mountain Goats, all bedded in the snow. These had to be Billies I reckoned. Their body sizes appeared to be...one smallish, one medium size, and one very large. Funny they'd pick that spot to bed, as cold as it was, and it looked sloped and precarious. But Goats do as they wish ;-)
I watched the 3 Goats the rest of the afternoon, mainly to be certain that they were indeed billies, and also to figure out their exact location on a map. Eventually it was pretty clear they were all billies. However the distance was much too great to start a stalk from my current location. Once I was sure I had their location pinned down on a topo map, I started working up a plan to get to them.
I headed back to camp, packed it up, and then worked my way back down to the truck. Aspens were starting to turn, and the weather was great now, with all the rain and snow events seemingly passed...thank goodness!
The access route I planned meant hiking from the trail head at the end of the South Fork Road. This would require only a 3-4 mile hike to get to the base of the bowl with the billies. After stopping to talk with some guys who’d set up a huge Muzz Elk Camp for tomorrow’s opener, I then got back in the truck and drove directly to the South Fork road to gain access to the trail head. Since it was now dark, I spent the night in the truck at the trail head. At dawn I started up the trail with camp on my back.
In the lower right corner of this pic you see the South Fork Fryingpan River. The trail follows the river, but then one needs to get through the timber to reach the alpine bowl above which the Billies were hanging out. As the pic shows, there’s nearly a mile of steep dark timber to work through first.
Heading up the trail.
A big cinnamon colored bear had the trail shut down in front of me, but only for a few seconds. The pic is blurry in the low light and he didn't hang around long enough to allow more pics.
About 2.5 miles down the trail, I could begin to see the base of the draw which would lead up to the bowl with the Goats. It lies between the two rocky peaks shown here.
With no trails leading up, I could only guess as to the best route for busting through the timber to get up there. As it turned out, I went too far down trail before cutting up into the timber. The route I chose was loaded with house size boulders and wicked deadfalls all the way. There was no straight path, just zigging and zagging over and through the deadfalls and rockpiles all the way up. Check out this deadfall tree which is clutching a boulder as if in the grip of its claws. When I came across this odd sight along the way up....I thought it sort of symbolized the evil personality of this rugged mountainside...
I finally arrived at the upper edge of the timber after 2 hours of pole-vaulting over the deadfalls, and found a decent spot to set camp.
I brought along this Tyvek Goat suit just in case the situation called for it. The hooded suit is custom altered with horns, by my fabulous wife.
Just beyond the door of the tent, I actually had a nice view of the snow cornice. And once again, the three billies were bedded on the white snow shelf. But now, they were less than a mile away, meaning one of them could soon be in grave danger ;-)
Being a Saturday, the hikers were again plentiful. These two were visible on the opposite side of the bowl to the south. One shirtless in 40 degree weather...lol. They'd probably come up a trail from the south called Lost Man Loop. After watching them a minute, it looked like they posed no risk for spooking the billies, just too far away and not coming any closer.
I climbed a big timbered rise that sits in the middle of the bowl, and set up to glass. I hoped to get a feel for what the billies were doing, like maybe where they were feeding. And there was a chance they might even come down towards me later in the evening. However that didn’t happen. They got up off the snow bank and disappeared for the rest of the day, giving me no clue which direction they went. I headed back to camp at dusk to rest up for a full day of hunting tomorrow.
The next morning (Sunday) my plan was to head straight for the chute below the Billies' Snow Cornice.
Early in the morning hours I thought I might find the billies in the chute below the snow, but no Goats were visible yet this morning. Maybe they were over the top and on the other side of the ridge? The snow cornice was located in a shallow saddle between two peaks of more than 13000 ft, with multiple, very steep, chutes leading up to the ridgeline. I decided to cross the open bowl quick as I could, and start climbing one of the chutes to the left.
Awesome story and pics so far!!!
About half way across, I glanced up to see a white spot high in the main chute. Binos confirmed it was a Goat. I was now pinned down in the wide open basin. I found the biggest boulder nearby and laid down flat on the ground behind it. The Goat at about 500 yards as yet showed no indication of seeing me. Another billy appeared shortly, as the first one bedded high on a rock perch.
For about an hour I continued watching from behind my meager rock "blind", until three Goats finally fed their way back across the chute to the left. If they kept going left, they’d disappear behind a rock contour and then I could get up and continue towards the base of the slope to the left.
Once they were totally out of view, I got up and hurried northwest towards the slope. I had to freeze a couple times as a Goat appeared on the peak high above. It seemed like they were making their way towards their favorite bedding spot again on the Snow Cornice.
The climb up towards the Goats was loose and steep....about as much slope as possible for a human to barely scramble up safely. Unfortunately the wind direction was less than perfect, since the bright sun was starting to blast morning thermals straight up the slope. I had to stay well off to the west side of the Goats rather than go straight to them, in hopes to keep my wind off them. At least I could see that a few puffy clouds were streaking in from the north over the peak above the Goats and towards me. Which meant that the prevailing wind itself was good for this approach. As long as these Goats would stay bedded on top of the ridgeline in the snow, I might be good to go.
For about an hour of climbing I’d had no line of sight to the Goats. I was going in blind. Finally I got near the west edge of the Snow Cornice, but the swirling winds had been sketchy the whole time. There was no way to know if they’d already got my scent and blown out of there. But I had to continue on the assumption they were still bedded there. So I dropped my pack with all my food and water, and dropped my camera and most of my gear. I donned the white Goat suit, and moved forward carrying only my bow, binos and rangefinder. The stalk was on, but wow, that suit seemed noisy. I had to move extra-slow to keep it quiet. I scrambled up the last few yards of the steep boulder slide and peeked over across the snow field. No Goats! I stood upright, looked around, no Goats anywhere. I walked across and peered down the back side. Still no Goats.
So at that point I’m guessing they must have blown out from my scent. Feeling somewhat dejected I start to take a few steps back to the west where my pack was stashed. Then from the corner of my eye I spot a Goat about 150 yards down the main chute. Luckily he was bedded and facing away. Now we’re back in business!
I ducked down and picked my way through the west edge of the chute over steep fields of medium boulders. Moving in as close as I dared while avoiding to be seen and trying not to kick a rock slide on top of them.
Now I had a chance to look the Goats over more closely. The young one looked like a 1.5 year old, his body size way smaller than the other two and he had the short dished face of a youngster. The medium size billy could have been 3 or 4 years old. He had a straight & longer snout and decent horns probably about 8.0-8.5 inches long. The third Goat had about the same horns, but was ridiculously larger in body size. He had a long Roman-nosed snout, noticeably humped in the middle, and with a dark scar on top of this face. This was definitely an old mature billy and a shooter for sure. As I continued watching him over the next few hours, it was apparent he actually struggled with his own gigantic body weight. He’d strain to get up, and then he’d waddle when he walked. His back-line sagged noticeably. His belly at times almost seemed to drag the ground. I’ll also admit that at no time, while in the presence of this Goat, did my heart rate ever return to normal ! This was the last pic I took of him from the valley floor before starting the climb up.
The white Goat suit never came into play during the ensuing three hours of cat and mouse. The Goats never once saw me, nor did they ever smell me. Through sheer luck, the wind stayed in my favor at all times. On the first sneak I got in as close as 52 yards (linear distance) to the big billy, which at the steep angle was 41 yards horizontal. But I felt it was too far for a bedded shot and passed on it.
Next the big billy got up and fed slowly away across the chute. The other Goats followed. They all moved out east into the chute and eventually bedded in the open. I squeezed down low into the rocks, and they never saw me. Finally they got up again and fed back my way but moved lower. Keep in mind, I’d left the main camera back with my pack, so no pics could be had during this sequence. Once they all disappeared behind a rock wall below, I quickly scampered down through the boulders to see if I could get close enough to get 'er done.
The snow melt from the cornice above kept a trickle of water flowing down the chute, and there was a bright green leafy plant growing from top to bottom in this chute that the Goats were gorging themselves on, as shown here.
I made it down to the top edge of the rock wall behind which they’d disappeared, and peeked over to find the billies bedded directly below me, about 15 yards and straight down. I peered out carefully a few more times to make sure I knew which billy was the shooter. Fortunately he was bedded "broadside" to me, with his spine shifted away and front legs forward, giving me a possible shot into the ribs. I stepped back away from the edge, nocked an arrow and drew. I stepped up and leaned out over the edge to see all three billies staring straight up at me. Too late though.....I let 'er fly and the arrow struck him perfectly right where I wanted. They all bolted across the chute.
I sat down and grabbed my iPhone and took this video. Not great video quality, but better than nothing. You’ll see the hit Goat in the lead and stumbling and then bed down quickly against a big rock about 100 yards away from me, while the other mature Goat passes by and slips behind the ridge above, while the smallest Billy stays nearby to the right. Watch Post-Shot Video
At first it looked like the rock would prevent him from rolling down hill, as bow-shot Goats are notoriously prone to do. He looked to be nicely wedged against the rock, and I figured I'd get lucky and he’d die there within seconds.
That didn’t happen. After watching him for quite some time, with great effort he managed to get up again, turn around, and bed back down. He repeated this 2 or 3 more times, before the following occurred. You can see the puzzled younger Billy follow him down the hill. Watch Video
I was afraid his horns were damaged in that horrific tumble. So it was a pleasant surprise when I found him totally intact. Just some slight chips off the horn tips, and the cape was perfect throughout. Not counting the 2 holes from a Grim Reaper.
By the time I got down to the carcass and started butchering it was near sunset. I skinned and gutted him and packed the full cape with head to camp in the dark. The next morning I returned to the kill site and boned out the meat and hauled it back to camp. That afternoon (Monday) I packed all the meat to the truck, along with all my optics, bow and a few other pieces of gear. This load was about 85-90 #, but the deadfall jungle sure made it a challenge for that first mile down. The trekking pole I’d brought along was real handy, and saved me tripping a few times. After finally breaking out of the timber it was good trail walking the remaining 3 miles down. I drove in to Eagle and bought ice, then returned the next morning for the cape and the rest of my camp. I made it back down and got to Glenwood Springs to check him in just before they closed at 5 pm Tuesday. By the way they aged the Billy at 7.5 years old.
Great write up man! Congrats on such a nice animal.
Thanks Nick, and the only bad part was having to leave that country.
Oh and by the way I'll throw this in as the best tip I can give anyone who happens through Leadville any evening, 7 days a week....stop at Quincy’s Restaurant on the main drag. You don’t even have to think about your order since they offer only one menu item and it’s a doozey. Filet Mignon grilled to your liking, baked potato, salad with dressing and a dinner roll, all for 8.95. I don’t know how they do it, but don’t miss it if you’re passing through ;-)
Good luck to everyone out hunting the rest of this fall !
Best writeup with pics ever! Congrats!
that was an excellent narrative and pictures - really loved it - and congrats on the fine animal
What an outstanding story! Many thanks for sharing it!
Good write-up. My dream hunt is for a billy. Its almost a 20hr drive to the nearest goat so I'm stuck reading about em.
Great story and hunt. This is what bowsite is all about.
Classic Epic thread and hunt!!!!! Really well done.... Great looking Billy a "Maxi Goat" for sure. Your my new hero...
I think Goats are the number one trophy in the North America for sure!!!!
I have eaten many a slab of beef at Quincys...
Wow, just wow! Congratulations, that's quite an accomplishment.
Great write up, terrific pictures, and the videos are a huge plus.
Thanks so much for taking us along, I really enjoyed it.
Congratulations on a great goat and hunt. The pictures and video were very enjoyable. I wanted to scream at the smaller goat to back off and let your goat die. Amazing that the horns and cape made it through that tumble without severe damage. Thanks for sharing.
Wow! Great write up and fantastic pics. Thanks for sharing!
As good as it gets !! Great hunt, Great story. Congrats.
it is because of stories like this one why I get on to bowsite. Congrats and thanks for taking us along.
Gotta be one of the best write-ups on here. Great pictures and video. Outstanding job and a beauty of a Billy...congrats!
Great writeup & pics! Thanks for letting us come along on your hunt!!!
Is it just me, or has this been the best couple of weeks ever for mountain hunting stories on Bowsite? Absolutely awesome!!!!!
you are an animal!
That is an awesome write-up and great pics. The videos were icing on the cake.
Congratulations!!! AWESOME pics AND write up!!!
Thanks so much for sharing!
What a fabulous hunt and re-cap! Congrats on a top notch hunt, trophy and adventure. Thanks so much for documenting this and sharing.
Would like to see more pictures of the Billy...hike out...etc etc....
What kind of mount are you going to do????
Adventurewriter, thanks and I'm having a bedded mount done. Wanted something a little different, since I already have a standing Billy mount. So the taxi is gonna do a smooth, rounded, snow-block type base, that will emulate the snow shelf the Goat and his buddies were using for their bed.
I didn't get pictures of myself doing the packout due to the rush to get out and the difficulty of setting up those type of pics solo. But here's one showing a different angle on the Goat. You can see the scars on his snout a little better in this pic. I'll see what other pics I might have.
Greg- Congrats on a great trophy! This is in the top 5 of all write ups that I've followed on this site. Pictures, videos and story were spot on. Great job.
WOW!! Congrats on a great billy!!
Congratulations on an epic accomplishment!
Phenomenal job Greg!!! The write up, the video and the Billie !!!
Awesome story, congrats on that great beast!
Very nice! Good work! Awesome hunt!!
You know I was thinking about your hunt this evening This has to stand as in the all-time top Colorado accomplishments... On its own merits...low density...solo...archery...a tough country Stud old Billy....well well done....
Great hunt, great pics...Congrats.
asgood a posting as this site has ever seen on a hunt recap. spectacular in all phases of the hunt and presentation.
Well done! Great story and pictures! Congratulations! Thanks for sharing! Mike
That is how it is done! You are a great hunter, photographer, and story teller indeed. Thanks for sharing and making me behind schedule on my elk hunting departure! Way to go!
What a hunt! Goats will remain a dream for most of us. Thanks for taking us along on your. Great story telling - magazine quality!
Great story, write-up, and pictures. Thanks for sharing it with us. Wow!
Agree with the others. Your recap and photos of this hunt, as well as your accomplishments during, stand in the same, rarified air as the goats you pursued. It will be counted amongst the few pinnacle threads that are returned to the top regularly.
I am taking my oldest son after elk for the first time next year and have told him to read the elk forum as a part of his preparation. I will now put your story at the top of his required reading list so he can see what perseverance in the mountains and single-minded purpose look like.
Greg, thank you for taking the time all along your journey to document your experiences and especially the time, so soon afterward, to share them with us. And many congratulations!
Thanks for sharing your adventure. Beautiful pictures and magnificent goat.
Fantastic job all around! Congrats.
Awesome hunt and a great story!
And congratulations on a tremendous adventure bowhunt.
Thanks for taking us all along.
Awesome. You really had to cover a lot of ground to pull that off. Great pics and story.
Meat must have been good and tender after that fall. Can't believe how good he still looked.
Congratulations... quite an accomplishment.
Thanks for taking us along on your adventure!!!
Sweet, thanks for hunting. How long were the horns?
One of the best stories ever ! Major congrats !!!!!!
Great Job Stick.
As much time as you spend in Colorado, I'd say its about time to "load up the truck and move to Beverly"
Again, great job.
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! Loved the story and pics! Congrat's!
Incredible! Congrats on the trophy of a lifetime! Also this is one of the best write ups I've seen! Thats an incredibly tough animal and even moreso because of the management practices for that area. Thanks for taking us along. Mike
Great story & pics thanks for taking us along!!
Awesome story ! Congrats on a beautiful billy!
That is as good as it gets, right there, and thank you!
WOW!!!! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! Congrats!!!! Awesome story and thank you for sharing it with us.
Congrats Greg, Heck of an accomplishment. DIY in an area not managed for goats, doesn't get any better than that. Awesome job!
Thanks to all for the great feedback.
Loopmtz, I'll get the particulars on that later when the taxi measures him for P&Y.
Cazador, you're right and I've been pondering that move for a few years ;-)
Thanks Jack.....you're turn is coming.
Not many other pictures to post, but here's one showing my spotting scope set-up for this hunt. Swarovski 80HD straight with a Feisol carbon tripod and Feisol ball head. At 7.4 # total weight, for a backpack hunt its a heavy SOB. Grateful to have it though, as the distances to be glassed were often huge. The tripod is super-stiff and solid, which turned out to be priceless when 50x-60x was needed to help ID Goats 3-4 miles away.
That was better than any magazine write up I've ever read. Videos as well. Unreal. From start to finish.
Congrats.... kind of an understatement. Only the second archery goat to come out of there? wow.
Thanks much for taking us along on that incredible hunt.
Bowsite has been rockin' lately folks. This stuff is world class awesome.
Thanks TD, happy to do it.
Some sights and sounds of the hunt can't be shown in pictures, like:
The fast pounding heartbeat inside your ears, as you've just nearly set your boot onto the tail feathers of another exploding ptarmigan...
The hurricane-like winds blasting your face as you break over the top of a 13000 ft ridgeline. Better have a chin strap for your ball cap, or have it snatched off & thrown into oblivion...
Getting shocked awake in the dead of night by a piercing bugle outside the tent. Then another one, louder and closer, and the horse-race thudding hooves after the bull got downwind. Who knows if he was a monarch or just a raghorn ?
The feel of frozen fog biting your face as you unzip that warm & cozy sleeping bag for yet another morning foray into the black pre-dawn. But you'll do it with gusto, and thank the gods for letting you be here...
The reward of warm bright sunshine that's inevitable after every rainstorm, and after every dark cold night...
Oh, and after days pounding the hills from a spartan camp, nurtured only by jerky, candy bars and freeze-dried stew.....finally sinking your teeth into a big 'ol steak or a cheeseburger. Realizing you'd forgotten how good some real food tasted ;-)
Awesome, just awesome! Congratulations Greg!
No doubt your business is thriving as well! You are top notch! You have set the bar high and it will be fun watching others try to top it. Stories such as yours are great motivators!
Thank you for sharing. A great write up and pictures. Congratulations on a fantastic goat.
how many points did it take to draw a tag in this low density unit??
jtelarkin, that was my 8th year of applying. There were 17 applicants, all with fewer points than me except for one fellow who was in his 9th year.
What a rockin' hunt! You rule!
Thanks for sharing your adventure...that's the best photo journal I think I've ever followed along with. Like I was right there with you. Once I started reading...I simply couldn't stop. Nicely done!
Thanks again, and congratulations on such a fine goat!
sticksender, let me say right off that I have never had the desire to hunt mountain goats or sheep. And, I couldn't physically do what you did. That said, yours is a wonderful write up and simply amazing pictures. I enjoyed it all ! My hat is off to you for what you have accomplished. Good job !!!
P S. I avoided this thread until this morning because it was a goat hunt. Glad I finally read it !
hey sticksender one more question.. resident or non resident tag?
nevermind on my last question.> I see where your from
Stickesender- Congrats on a great mt goat and an awesome as usual photo journal write up. Thanks for posting! You are a Colorado mt goat killing machine. I see 25 raffle tickets in your future for the next several years.
Fantastic write up and adventure. Congrats!
Sandbrew you bet I'll probably snag at least a few tickets. Would hope to buy them in your presence so you can rub them for me first. Otherwise it boils down to the 9-year wait to be eligible in the regular draw again. I could be an invalid by that time! But absolutely no complaints even if I never get to hunt them again. Two billies in 4 years...that's more than my fair share, and I know those opportunities were a true blessing.
sticksender, thanks for sharing. One of the best, start to finish.
Incredible!!!! Thanks for sharing and congrats.
WAY COOL, many CONGRATS!!! Thanx for sharing...
Great pictures and thanks for sharing. Congrats on a great goat!
That is serious country and a great write-up. You are more man than me:) Congratulations on a great hunt and nice Goat.
Congrats! Great write up too.
Great account of your hunt. Congrats
Phenomenal story, pics and video of your adventure. Thanks so much for sharing and congratulations!
Magnificent presentation. I can't imagine taking as many photos while I'm focused on trying to hunt. Great job on the nice billy and story!
Great writeup and photos! Congrats on the nice billy as well!
You make me hungry for Quincy's. Inflation is not rampant there as the meal is still the same price or cheaper than in 2009! I still have a place near Leadville but have only gotten there once over the past 5 years I've been in BC.
Thanks again for the comments. The time to put it together was completely worthwhile just to be able to share with fellow bowsiters. A year from now I probably won't recall a tenth of the details that are spelled out above, but will always have this thread anytime I feel a need to re-live the hunt.
Franzen, agreed and I don't let photo-taking become a distraction during the hunt. It's just more or less integrated into my hunt routine, and takes the place of writing a journal. I try to make sure most significant events each day are recorded in photos. Once its all over I can scroll through the images to jog my memory and keep the facts, times & places straight. And usually during a hunt there's a lot of waiting time, glassing time, rest stops while hiking, and etc to allow for photo-taking. I keep the camera in a belt pouch, and can have it out and snap a photo within a few seconds. I don't use a big heavy lens or a tripod for pictures, and carry only an mid-grade P&S type camera. I usually won't fool around with taking pics in the latter stages of a stalk, or do anything to risk compromising the hunt for the sake of pictures.
Kurt I'm envying your having a place near Leadville....what a beautiful area!
By the way, I'm making a big pile of Billy Goat jerky today. Honey bbq, A-1, and spicy varieties....pretty good stuff ;-)
Very Nice! What an adventure and your write-up is fantastic. Thanks!
One of the best write ups I have read period! Congratulations on a job well done.
Hmmmm... making jerky....
there was a thread not long ago about eating mtn goat, some thumbs up.... some thumbs down saying tougher than shoe leather.
I'd imagine yours being an older goat.... may not have been the tenderest. Although it seems he tried his best to tenderize himself some for you tumbling down the mountain.....
Hence the jerky? What was the verdict?
TD, that's my first attempt at Goat jerky but its as good/tender as any venison jerky we've had. Sliced it across the grain, marinated for a few hours, then into dehydrator at 145° for 6-7 hours, then 10 minutes in the oven at 275°
Also we grilled the bacon-wrapped filets today and they were mild and tender. Sliced the sirloin cuts and backstraps into steaks, and made roasts out of everything else that we didn't turn into jerky.
Thank you so much for posting . I need me a MNT goat fix and you delivered that big time. HUNT
This thread could easily be a Bowsite "Feature". Every aspect of it was amazing. Thank you for sharing.
Stick, yep, as the others have said, Awesome!! Thanks for taking us along.
Congrats, Bill V.
Well done, from the story to the photos. Spot on.
This story/photo log ranks right up there as one of Bowsite's finest...Thank you.
Absolutely awesome and thanks for sharing! This is my favorite thing about Bowsite.
Congrats on the outstanding accomplishment, and thanks for the great story and pics!
Great adventure with a happy ending, those are the best! Excellent account and thanks for sharing!
Great, thanks for taking us on your hunt. Congrats on your goat.
Great hunt! Great story! Thanks for taking the time to share. These goat and sheep hunts are my favorites, always seem to be as tough mentally as they are physically.
Best part of bowsite!! Thanks for sharing!
You're a badass. thanks for sharing. great post
Really good read - congratulations on a great hunt!!
Can you tell us about your equipment…? Boots..? Backpack…? Etc…
wild1- sure I can run through those real quick.
Boots I took two pair....Lowa Tibets and Lowa Renegades, both with upgraded insoles. For all but one day I wore the shorter Renegades and they served me well. Not near as stiff as the Tibets, but much lighter in weight. With Kennetrek gaiters they kept my feet mostly dry through all the rain and snow events. I did blow out one of the Gaiters late in the hunt. The fabric loop connecting the leather sole strap tore in half.
Pack was a Kifaru Timberline 2. The 5200 CI capacity was the perfect size for this hunt. At one point I had it packed with all the boned meat, scope & tripod, and a few other items. Everything fit inside with the lid extended.
Clothes basically I use Cabelas. Their Hunt Tech shirts for base layer, fleece Henley for warmth, and Microtex pants. The only non-cabelas items were the Nike Pro Combat boxers. Socks were Cabelas lightweight mini-crew smartwool. I didn't pack in any jackets or other outer layers, and never needed them. Temps never fell below 25 degrees, and this was an always-moving type hunt. I did bring a set of synthetic long johns for sleeping, which could have doubled as an extra layer if weather turned cold. Space Rain gear from Cabelas.
Tent, Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2.
Bag was a Western Mountaineering Ultralite 20° mummy bag. Pad, a Big Agnes air core.
Optics I had my Leica Geovid 10x42 BRF's (with Rick Young harness and cover), the Swaro 80HD scope, Feisol tripod, and my Olympus SP565UZ camera. I also carried a small Opti-Logic angle-compensating rangefinder. Can't recommend the latter, as it flaked out in one way or another almost every time I tried to use it.
I also carried a DeLorme Inreach Explorer device instead of the usual Iridium phone that I'd take on most solo backcountry hunts. Have been impressed with the InReach so far. And for a GPS, used a Garmin 60CSx with a Colorado topo card. It saw a lot of use on this hunt.
Bow was a Hoyt Carbon Spyder Turbo at 29" and 73# with 430gr TAW, axis-style shafts. I used mechanical heads for only the second time ever on big game. The jury remains out for me on these, but the 1-3/4 inch Grim Reaper got the job done.
Congrats Greg on a great billy and story.
AWESOME hunt!! Climbing mountains just to get to the top has never really interested me, but dang, if there was a goat at the top I'd be all over it...
Incredible. Freaking. Hunt.
...and what a portly toad of a goat.
I'm blown away by the combo of photos, video and story. An epic achievement. Thanks for bringing us along,
Thanks for the info, much appreciated!
Wow, that was a fantastic read.
Thanks for taking the time to write it up.
Great photos as well, congrats on the great billy!
Loved every bit of this! Thanks for sharing and congratulations!!
I missed this on the first time around!!
So glad it got bumped back up!!
Great write up all the way around and congrats on a stud of a goat!!
Greg WOW not only did u pull off a great DIY goat hunt in some tough county ,,U managed to capture video and photos of your days in the mountains ,,, This is the best of the best for Bowsite.
Greg Since the unit has such low goat numbers not sure if i would have passed on the first group but u had a goal and a plan !!!! it worked Perfect !!!\
this is not just "must read", but must save and re-read often and for a long time.
Great write up and story!! Congrats on a great trophy
Not sure how I missed this the first go round! Conrats on a great goat and thank you for telling an amazing story! This past month on Bowsite has been amazing with the stories and pictures of all these adventures! This is one of the best!
Wow!! What an awesome adventure you had. Congratulations on your goat.
WOW!!! Epic!...I overlooked this thread many months ago...I’m at a loss for words man to congratulate and compliment sticksender!
What a totally awesome hunt! And trophy!...Top shelf photos and hunt story/details! Solo and DIY!! You are one tough dude! FINALLY getting to 15 yards is so indescribable sweet after all those days on the trail/hunt.
If one picture is worth a thousand words…you have an endless amount here!...Plus some vid footage of that horrible (but typical goat) tumble…I thought you were going to get lucky where he bedded down.
Again thanks for sharing your hunt and taking all of us along. A archive forever on bowsite.
Dang! That was epic.
Thanks for bumping this...on the day the last image was posted, I was starting the two day process of packing out my CO bull.
Best of Luck, Jeff
I don't know how I missed this until now, but truly outstanding in every respect. Thank You!
Ridge, Thanks for the bump on this one. I too missed it, but it was well worth the read!
Unbelievable hunt! Thank you for sharing. The one thought that kept running through my mind was that you are one tough son of gun!
This was better than 90% of the hunting magazine articles I have read. I hunted a bit west of Leadville last fall with a rifle and that was a lot of work. I salute you for doing the goat hunt with a bow. Congrats on a super trophy!
Thanks for the comments. I've enjoyed reading so many great stories from fellow bowsiters, it's only fair to share a couple of mine.
MS Bowman, not sure how tough....probably more like hard-headed.
loopmtz, I recently got a peek at the final P&Y score sheet while visiting my taxidermist. As I recall his final score was around 43" and I think he was 8-3/8 long.
treewalker, yes it's a beautiful area but with a lot of steep terrain. Some decent elk hunting in the area which I'm keeping in mind for a possible future hunt.
I have a feeling if you make back for an elk hunt you'll be spending most of your time looking UP at those rocky ridges thinking about goats....LOL Fantastic story! I missed it the first time too
Greg, not sure how I miss this hunt but I now know I was elk hunting at this time.
A few years back I wrote my goat story, titled, "Almost Like Hunting On The Moon".
Your story/pictures surely confirm that for sure.
What an excellent story you have told here with added pictures to frame the hunt. I am sure we all felt every step, up and down the mountains, with you.
You have surely raised the bar to an all time level for us who love to tell our stories with pictures and words.
Congratulations and thanks for having us along. Yes, we indeed were in your front pocket and looking forward.
My best, Paul
Can't believe I missed this either. We elk hunt out of leadville and I recognize some of that country.
Great chronicle of your hunt. Makes me want to start putting in for goat tags....
Definitely one of the all time best threads! Thanks so much for make this post!
Just read all this and watched the video again I will have to say this is my favorite thread of all time and a top bowsite accomplishement...people that haven't hunted in that type of country have nooooo idea what you really did...
Great story, hunt, and goat!
I seem to miss everything posted in Sept and have seen some great threads brought back up. Thanx
Dang....one of the best ever! Not sure how I missed this as well but likely because I was elk hunting.
Fantastic in every way!
Where did you hit him??? he stayed on his feet for a long time..but when he went down he went down!!!!
AW- The shot entered at the top corner of the scapula, down through a lung, and exited the centerline of the brisket. Missed the heart. Here's
the pic as I found him, before any clean-up.
Even though I knew from your recount the carcass took the fall okay, it still made me sick to my stomach watching it roll down those rocks!
Very well done... best photoessay ever on Bowsite and no ego involved at all. Great work, Stick.